Stretch it out lads! 💪#ATMCHE pic.twitter.com/RtQOUN47uO— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 23, 2021
Here’s how Chelsea vs Atlético Madrid & Bayern Munich vs Lazio played out.
The Champions League round of 16 continued tonight after it’s commencement last week which seen a number of surprise results, no less than PSG’s impressive 4-1 victory over Barcelona.
Tonight’s fixtures seen Chelsea and Atlético Madrid meet in the neutral venue of the National Arena in Romania, Lazio were in a more familiar setting as they faced current Champions League champions Bayern Munich in Stadio Olimpico.
Here’s how the fixtures played out.
Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea
Despite their less than impressive early season form, Chelsea look a rejuvenated side under the management of Thomas Tuchel.
Before their draw against Southampton at the weekend, they won their previous 5 games in all competitions.
Atlético Madrid, though, were going to be no pushovers. Despite normally finding themselves in the shadow of their competition Real Madrid and Barcelona, Atlético have shown this season that they’re a force to be reckoned with, currently sitting 1st in La Liga.
Despite being played in a neutral venue in Romania, Chelsea were seen as the away side meaning they would have the advantage of away goals.
In truth, it wasn’t a match of many opportunities and it always looked likely that a moment of magic would separate the two sides.
That moment was provided by Olivier Giroud. He scored a spectacular bicycle kick from the penalty spot after a slight mix up in the box. Initially, the goal was disallowed but after some consultation with VAR, the decision was overturned and the goal stood.
Crucially, Giroud’s strike also counted as a Chelsea away goal which would be crucial going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Giroud’s strike made the difference in the end as the match finished 1-0 to Chelsea.
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich
Current Bundesliga and Champions League title holders Bayern Munich travelled to Rome in tonight’s other fixture to take on Lazio.
Bayern unusually failed to pick up a win in their last two Bundesliga games, drawing 3-3 with Arminia and losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend. Despite this, they were still seen as favourites for the tie given the strength of their side.
It didn’t take long for them to show why they were favourites going into the game.
Current FIFA Player of the Year Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring just before the 10 minute mark. The goal came as a result of a poor back pass from a Lazio defender which fell straight to Lewandowski’s feet who rounded the keeper and slotted into the net with ease.
17-year-old English underage international Jamal Musiala was a surprise inclusion in the first XI but he proved he was worth his place in the squad by doubling Bayern’s advantage in the 23rd minute. He finished low into the net from the edge of the area after a flowing Bayern build-up.
Leroy Sané scored his side’s 3rd just before half time with a tap-in from a rebound.
Bayern started the second half much as they finished the first.
They launched a counter attack from a Lazio corner shortly after the second half commenced before Leroy Sané’s low cross was diverted into the net by Lazio defender, Francesco Acerbi.
However, Lazio did get one back just minutes afterwards. Joaquin Correa received the ball just outside the box before dribbling past a couple of challenges and finishing low into the net.
No further goals followed as the match finished as a convincing 4-1 victory to Bayern Munich which will likely take them through to the next round.